If you're new to free machine embroidery, our craft team has even included a how-to guide, so complete beginners can give free machine embroidery a try. Just be sure to practise on a scrap of fabric first.
Find a new free machine embroidery design to try below, along with our step-by-step guide.
How to do free machine embroidery
Practise on a scrap of fabric first. Place the fabric with the appliqué ironed in place in an embroidery hoop. Use an embroidery foot on the machine and lower the feed dogs or place
a metal plate over them to allow you to move the fabric freely (see your machine instruction book for details). Set stitch length and width, to0. Place the work under the needle and lower the presser foot. Start stitching with the machine running slowly, moving the hoop around under the needle, following the design. The further you move the fabric, the larger the stitches.
You will need:
40cm each of 90cm (or wider) fabrics for tea cosy and lining
Oddments of felt and fabric for appliqué
40cm of 90cm (or wider) wadding – we used thick cotton curtain interlining
Embroidery hoop (optional)
Embroidery thread – we used Anchor Stranded Cotton (401)
How to make your free machine embroidered tea cosy:
Enlarge tea cosy template (below) to 38cm wide x 32cm high. Cut two from each of plain fabric, wadding and lining fabric. Enlarge cupcake pieces and trace on to Bondaweb. Iron on to reverse of fabric oddments and cut out. Remove Bondaweb backing.
Iron cupcake pieces onto one outer-fabric tea cosy piece. Following the embroidery instructions (above), stitch around the cupcake twice. Don’t worry if the stitching is not perfect – slight irregularities add to the charm. Alternatively, just use a straight machine stitch.
Using the fabric marker, write ‘Tea time’ under the cupcake. Hand embroider over the words in stem stitch, using three strands of embroidery thread. Cut a 14cm x 4cm strip from lining fabric for the loop. Press under 1cm along both long edges, fold in half lengthwise and stitch close to this edge. Fold to form a loop. Tack to the top of the right side of one plain fabric tea cosy piece. Tack wadding to wrong side of both plain fabric tea cosy pieces. With right sides facing, stitch together around outer curved edge, taking 1.5cm seam allowances.
Trim seam allowances and turn right side out. Stitch the two lining pieces together around the curved edge leaving a 15cm gap at the top for turning through. Trim seam allowances. Slip the lining over the tea cosy with right sides facing. Pin and stitch lining to tea cosy around lower edge. Turn right side out through gap. Sew up gap and tuck the lining inside the tea cosy.
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